News Archive


1994 Kumeu River Chardonnay drinking well!

01 August 13


We were very pleasantly surprised to see the below comment from James Suckling about the 1994 Kumeu River Chardonnay. It is a wine that we thought to be very special at the time of release but we also would not have thought the wine would look so good at this age. The last time we tried one at Kumeu River was about a year ago and it was surprisingly lively but it sounds like Mr Suckling's bottle was even better! We know the Chardonnays from Kumeu River age well a up to about ten years but this one shows that the wines can live even longer.

"I was trying to find some 1994 wines for my son's birthday dinner last night, and the only two I could find were lone bottles of 1994 Masseto Toscana and 1994 Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu. They were dusty and long-forgotten.Yes, I know that I should have 1994 Vintage Port in my cellar. I had a lot of it years ago but a divorce changed all that. Oh well. The good news is that both of the wines were excellent in their own right.The 1994 Masseto showed its wonderful pure merlot character with olives, blackberries and balsamic character. It was full-bodied with velvety tannins and a savory finish. 94 points. It was not actually a good period for Ornellaia, the mother winery of Masseto. The estate overproduced and made rather weedy cabernets. But the 1994 Masseto last night was wonderful. I guess more quality went into the Masseto than the Ornellaia back then. I had little hope for the 1994 Kumeu. But it was outstanding. It was also bottled with a cork and not the ubiquitous New Zealand screw cap. It was a bright yellow-gold color with that dense and rich chardonnay character of dried pineapple and honey flavors. I picked up some anchovies too. It was full-bodied and rich with a petrol undertone. 90 points. It proves how well the best whites of New Zealand improve with age."

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